Friday, November 25, 2011

New distance record: 17 miles

I have been looking forward to Black Friday for weeks now.

But I didn't spend a dollar.

My 16-miler was three weeks ago and my longest run since then was just 7 miles.  And that 16-miler was rough because of the uphill route.  I knew I wouldn't be able to run long the past two weekends but I've had today marked on the calendar for a long run and nothing was going to stop me.  It couldn't be more perfect, a holiday, my husband home, making up for the gluttony of Thanksgiving and leftovers.

Black Friday was long run day for me today.

I set out, not knowing how long I would run.  I knew I could do at least 14, but I didn't want to commit to anything further in case my body wasn't up to it.  I ran 3 easy miles on Monday and 4 on Tuesday.  I mapped out an 11 mile route and then would run some miles with my sister who was going to meet up with me (yay for a running partner!)

This run felt great! By the time I got started, I knew I'd be cutting it close to make it back to meet my sister at our appointed time, so I pushed my pace a bit.  Miles 1-9 were mostly 10:30-10:45. My pace for most long runs has been more like 11.  My new shoes felt pretty good and my hip didn't bother me much until the very end.

In an effort to not be too late to meet my sister, I picked up the pace from miles 9-11, down to the mid 9:00's.  Her pace is in the 11:00's usually and I was totally cool with slowing down for our miles together.  That was part of why I felt okay pushing the pace on the front half.

At the 14 mile mark, my sister was planning to head to her car, which was 3 miles for her.  She always runs 3 miles, so I told her she was going to run 4 today!  We ran to my 15 mile point and she turned around to walk/jog back to her car (she actually completed almost 6 miles running and walking today, a big deal for her!)  I headed on a bit, deciding how much further I was going to go.  I realized if I ran just half a mile more and turned around, I'd hit 17 miles--one mile further than my longest distance.  So I did it.

The last mile or so, my body was hurting something fierce.  Not having the distraction of my sister made me aware of my aching hip and my sore feet.  My goal was to complete the last mile under 11:00 and I had to push it, but I came in just under 11.

My overall time was 3:05 for 17 miles which was my same time for my 16-miler.  Overall pace was 10:53.

This run again, boosted my confidence, as most of my runs do.  They help me believe in myself and trust that I am capable.

My ice bath on the other hand, was more painful than the run! I think I waited too long to get in and the ice had already melted and it took a long time for my body to adjust.  I need to remember to get in faster so my body adjust slowly as the temperature lowers.

I spent the next 6 hours on my feet, organizing my house with my sisters.  We got so much done, which was amazing.  And I will sleep good tonight!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

I'm coming back

Last week was not a running week.  But that's okay.

My daughter had surgery, so she was my focus--as it should have been.  There are times that I need to put running & myself first.  But there are times that my family comes before any run.  And this was one of those times.

It kinda killed me that I missed the first 20-miler on my schedule.  But many have told me that I only need one 20-miler and there is plenty of time for that yet.

But this week I'm back! I'm excited to wake up early and run.  This is going to be a spectacular running week.  My kids are all off school, which means I can get back to the house at 6:45am when Bean leaves for work and still have more than an hour before I need to leave for work.

I'm planning 18 miles for Friday.  A perfect way to run off my Thanksgiving meals!  I really want to do 20, but my longest run so far is 16 miles and that was a few weeks ago.  So to avoid injury and continue to build up appropriately, I'll do the next distance on my schedule.  20 will still be there a week or two from now.

Lily is having a hard time sleeping right now.  Here's hoping I'll get enough sleep to run!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

run slow = run faster

I posted earlier this week about my treadmill run and how hard it is for me to go slow, especially on the treadmill.

Slow runs are important for multiple reasons.  Slow runs make you run faster.  Just like sleep begats sleep in babies.

My belief in slow runs was solidified on Tuesday.  I may not like them, but I do believe in them.

This week's speedwork called for tempo miles at 9:34.  Since my daughter had surgery this week, I did my speedwork on Tuesday before my next few days were devoted to her.  I confess, a lot of my speedwork has been on the treadmill, or at the park loop which is about .4 miles around.

But I decided I just needed to hit the streets and see what I could pull off.  One of the main reasons I've done so much speedwork on the 'mill and at the park is because I didn't have a Garmin and it's not too easy to track pace using the Nike+.  But now that the lovely Garmin graces my wrist, I have no excuses.

I had about 45 minutes to run, so I decided I'd warm up for a half mile or so and then speed up.  I think my warm up was more like .6 or .7 miles because it took a bit for the Garmin to pick up a satellite signal (always happens when I don't turn it on while I'm getting ready).  It felt like it took forever to get my pace down.  But I kept pushing it, focusing on small quick steps with my feet and pumping my arms.  I finally got to a mid-9 pace and thought "this isn't so bad, I can do this."

My husband drives the car I had when we got married.  It's a lovely blue 1998 Saturn SL-2.  It's paid for.  I bought the car used while we were dating, mostly because it was the nicest vehicle in my price range and had super low mileage.  The Saturn isn't a speedy car. But she's pretty consistent.  One of my best friends got married a few months before me and four of us drove my Saturn to Vegas for a girls weekend before our weddings.  

There are some long inclines as you drive from San Diego to Vegas.  My friends nicknamed my car "Connie Constant" because if you got her to a 60-70 mph speed as you started an incline, she'd stay there.  But if you were going slower--there was no way she'd pick up any speed while you were climbing.

I'm learning that this is my running style too.  My body loves that 10 minute mile.  Lately, my "natural pace" seems even slower since I'm doing so many long, slow runs.  But when I can get my body going, those faster paces aren't too bad and I actually maintain them.

Tempo Mile Splits

Mile 1- 9:30, yahooo---below my goal pace of 9:34

Mile 2- 9:18, not sure what got into my legs, but I actually kept dialing back a bit because I kept
speeding up.  There was some downhill the first part of this mile, but even with small inclines later my pace was smokin'.

Mile 3- 9:36, this mile had a lot of short stretches, turns, and corners which always mess up my groove and I was feeling the speed a bit too!

Mile 3.5- 9:04 pace, took advantage of a big downhill and just booked it to the end!

This run seriously boosted my confidence.  I was running without music and it gave me an opportunity to think about my speed and realize that if I can just get up to my desired pace, it's not so hard to stay there.

Another reason I love my Garmin.  Seeing the mile pace helps me so much--I know when to speed up, I know when to slow down.

With every run, I believe in myself more.

Monday, November 14, 2011

When a treadmill is a good thing

Many people call the treadmill the "dreadmill" because they greatly dislike running on it.

I don't love or hate the treadmill. Overall road running is best. But there are times the treadmill is necessary or your only option. Those are the times I'm thankful that I have an old creaky treadmill in my garage.

Although I feel like I owe my neighbors an apology because I realized that my treadmill is creaky enough to be heard across the street. It's so old though I'm afraid to lube anything because if I broke it somehow I would cry. Literal tears.

I woke up this morning in a fog. Mondays are like that. Especially when you were away from the house for 10 hours on Sunday. I knew I would regret not running. My last run was Friday and I won't be running Wednesday maybe Thursday too, due to my daughter's surgery.

I dragged myself out of bed and even thought the sun was rising, a mindless run on the 'mill was the best I could motivate myself too. I pulled on a new long sleeve running shirt (with thumb holes, rad) I picked up at Costco.

I made it to the treadmill and disciplined myself to a slow run. That's my weakness on the treadmill, I go too fast. I can make myself run pretty fast on the treadmill but that's not always good for training.

My shirt kept choking me. I'd pull it down and it would creep back up. My husband loves a tight neck on a tshirt. He won't even wear a shirt if the neck is too loose. I'm the opposite though. A turtleneck would be torture for me.

A mile or two in, I had decided to take the shirt back. It just wasn't worth the choking sensation. I was bummed because I like the fit and the thumb holes and it was so soft.

Then it dawned on me. Could it be on backwards? It was my first time wearing it. I pulled it off my neck, glanced down and sure enough--there was the tag imprint.

I breathed a big sigh of relief. I can keep the shirt!

Then I realized it was probably a good thing that I opted for the mindless treadmill run. If it took me almost 3 miles to discover that my shirt was backwards, who knows what would have happened if I was trying to run the streets.

Sometimes, a mindless treadmill run is a good thing.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, November 11, 2011

11.11.11 11k

Adam Ricklefs
  Yeah! 6.83 miles

This exchange took place on Twitter yesterday. Just something random that I happened to catch. Or rather it seemed to catch me.  In fact, a friend had invited me to run a local race this morning, an 11k for Veteran's Day.  I was really excited!  But then the race location and start time was later (random changes just two weeks out from a race) and the changes made it impossible for me to run.

Since I should have run 18 miles (yikes!) this weekend and I can't, I decided to run as many as possible spread over a few days.

When I saw this tweet I realized the goal would help push me to more miles.  This morning I headed out, up my dreaded hilly route (which I could handle for a shorter run) and was able to get in almost 5.5 miles before I had to be home for hubs to leave.

Less than 30 minutes after I got home, Bean and Lily left and I went and hopped on the treadmill to complete the 11k.  My legs were screaming at me (and still are) but I did it! In about 68 minutes, which is a great pace for me right now for almost 7 miles.

In two days I've logged over 11 miles and I hope to run later on tomorrow or maybe Sunday to get in a few more.  Maybe even 7 to still have those 18 miles on my legs, just not all at once.

But after getting up early now on TWO mornings I could have stayed in bed, I'm looking forward to not hearing my alarm go off before 6am tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

running along

Hi friends, I'm still running along.  Running along a very full and busy life and fitting in the running of miles as well. 

16 miles was hard.  Well, my route was hard.  Mostly uphill the first half, which exhausted me for the second half.  I may not run that route again for a long run, but it was convenient because I didn't have to drive to the starting point.  I survived though and ran it in 3 hours.

My schedule calls for 18 miles this weekend, but I have an all day commitment Friday and Saturday so 18 isn't going to happen this weekend.  I'm okay with that though because I desperately need new shoes after the weekend I'll be able to get some!  I think my next long run will be much better having new shoes.

I'm still going to try to get some decent miles in over a few days this weekend, it just won't all be at once.

Keep on running friends!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

next up: 16

I haven't blogged in over a week!  I have still been training though.  My toddler was super sick over the weekend and then Halloween and then back to work and life.  Not much blogging time.

Last Saturday I ran my scheduled 6 miles, and they were awful!  You'd think after running 14 miles the week before 6 would have been a breeze, which is what I was expecting.  But it wasn't.

I didn't start my run until close to 10am (as opposed to the 7am starts I do for longer runs) and I was running near my house which is more inland (instead of along the coast).  So it was warmer.  I ended up being SO thirsty from about the 2nd mile on, but there were no drinking fountains and I hadn't brought water since it was a shorter run. 

I ran about 4 miles with a friend (and then she slowed down) and we went out a little too fast too since we were chatting.  I'm not used to running with people (although I definitely love it) so I probably used up too much energy talking.

But I got it done and was on target for my pace, even though I felt terrible.

Next up is 16 miles.  In fact, tomorrow.  We are out of town all day Saturday and I work on Sundays, so I had to get this run in on another day.  I did a little kid-swap with my sister-in-law.  She's going to watch my kids tomorrow while I run and then I'll watch her kids on Friday.  Sweet!

I mapped out a run from her door (just a half mile from my house) so I don't have to waste time driving and can get to the run so I can be done faster and spend time with my kiddos.  It's a bit of a funky route, but it gets it done.  I usually avoid longish runs from my house because there are a few big hills to contend with.  But I decided this week, I'll just have to get 'er done.  It's good for training anyways, right?

I ran 4 miles on Monday and I did the Cardio Recovery Insanity workout today, which is a lot of stretching and some yoga type moves.  I knew I shouldn't run or do anything with a lot of impact today, but I wanted to keep my body limber.

The next few long runs pose a bit of a challenge.  For some reason I erroneously copied down that next weeks run was 8 miles, when in fact it's supposed to be 18.  I am teaching a class all day Friday and Saturday, and so there is no way an 18-miler can happen.  I'm wondering if two or three shorter long runs on back to back days will achieve some of the same effect. I may be able to run 9 miles both Friday and Saturday.

I'm not going to let myself stress about it too much.  I know I will be able to complete 26.2 miles and I still have plenty of training time.  I don't like deviating from the schedule but it is what it is.  The week after is when my daughter will be recovering from her tonsillectomy and so that run kinda hangs in the balance.  But I'll figure something out!

I'm a little apprehensive about tomorrow's run.  But excited too.  I can do this!